Richard Viguerie: Statement Supporting Päivi Räsänen Christian Prisoner Of Conscience In Finland
Many readers of CHQ are aware of the persecution of Christians in China, the Middle East and Africa. What you may not be aware of is the persecution of Christians in Western Europe under guise of “hate crimes.” In support of one such persecuted Christian, Finnish Dr. Päivi Räsänen, CHQ Chairman Richard Viguerie issued this call to action to join a rally in support of Päivi at the Finnish Embassy in Washington, DC, tomorrow, July 31, 2021.
Mr. Viguerie’s statement follows:
I am very concerned about the case of Päivi Räsänen, who was indicted for a hate crime for simply writing a pamphlet on traditional marriage, posting a tweet with a Bible verse in it, and expressing her Christian faith in a television interview.
Päivi is a physician, a member of the Finnish Parliament and a former Finnish Interior Secretary, and she faces two years in prison for this alleged crime. This indictment is completely political, as the Finnish prosecutor overruled the advice of the police who found no grounds for these charges. In addition, the newly elected bishop of the Lutheran-Church Missouri Synod affiliate in Finland, Juhana Pohjola, has also been indicted on similar charges. I am very afraid that we are only a few years away from the same thing happening here in the United States.
The main document cited in the indictment (which was written by Räsänen fifteen years ago), entitled “Male and Female He Created Them,” in no way threatens or demeans any individual. Indeed, the very idea that a simple quotation of Bible verses on Twitter, or a brochure which restates traditional morality related to same sex marriage, would result in hate crime charges is preposterous. It is also an affront to the basic right of religious liberty which is the hallmark of any civilized Western nation. These charges are also a clear violation of the freedom of religion guaranteed under section 11 of the Finnish Constitution. As such, we demand that Finnish Prosecutor General Raija Toiviainen immediately drop any and all charges against Dr. Räsänen and Rev. Dr. Pohjola.
But we also need to take action here in the United States. My friend, Rev. Dr. Dennis R. Di Mauro, is planning a rally in front of the Finnish Embassy on Saturday, July 31st starting at 1pm and I encourage everyone to attend the rally to make a stand for religious freedom. We also need the maximum amount of press coverage to spread the word and encourage such rallies in other nations. There has already been another rally like this in Estonia.
Here is the event link: Protest at the Finnish Embassy for Dr. Päivi Räsänen and Rev. Dr. Juhana Pohjola | Facebook I am offering this statement to be read at the rally. It is my prayer that with a large enough presence and press coverage we can convince the Finnish prosecutor to drop all charges.